The name Teen Wolf might bring back memories of a cheesy 1980s comedy flick with Michael J. Fox in full wolfman mode standing on top of a moving limo, or even worse, Jason Bateman’s film debut. No, the Teen Wolf franchise does not inspire much confidence, which is why MTV’s decision to create a TV series based on the films was an odd one. Even odder is that the show is actually quite entertaining. The show follows the adventures of awkward high school student Scott McCall (Posey) who, after a werewolf bite, becomes a super-powered ‘wolf boy’. Life isn’t always easy for Scott as he has to deal with werewolf hunters, evil werewolves and the trials and tribulations of average teen life.
The show may seem to be jumping in on the popularity of Twilight, The Vampire Diaries and True Blood but in truth it is more similar in tone to shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer with it’s dark comic edge and smart writing. Teen Wolf portrays it’s leading man more as a Peter Parker than an Edward Cullen; a confused teen who has enough problems on his plate than having to deal with his new wolf powers. The character of Scott is actually very likeable, he’s a realistic and relatable teenager made mildly more interesting by the addition of his powers. Whilst Scott is a compelling lead, what is a hero without his wisecracking sidekick? Delivering laughs aplenty is Scott’s best friend and confidant Stiles (O’Brien). Well played by Dylan O’Brien, Stiles is the Xander to Scott’s Buffy, the Pacey to his Dawson and thus becomes one of the most easy to watch aspects of the show. With these two in the leading roles, there is a lot of potential for the show.
Teen Wolf goes far darker than you’d expect it to, in the first episode we are treated to the sight of massacred human body, later on we see vicious murders, a body on fire and also the sexual tension is pretty blunt. Strangely the wolf make up is where the show seems to hold back, when wolfed out the characters look normal apart from some Hugh Jamckmaned up hair, pointy ears, teeth and claws, the show explains this due to different types of werewolves, but come on, it looks about as good as campy but fun Canadian series Big Wolf on Campus. MTV really have gone all out on this, making a smart, angsty teen drama with a supernatural twist that beats Smallville hands down in entertainment value. Also with the addition of MTV being behind the series, the show has a very modern and hip soundtrack, which is very enjoyable.
The show isn’t perfect, at times it gets overly melodramatic and some episodes are weaker than others but it does have general sense of fun and intrigue. It makes good use of its writers and cast, whilst also pushing the expectations of its audience. It mixes the best parts of the past Teen Wolf movies and the current sexually charged vampire/werewolf culture we currently live in. A teen show with powers that is at the top of it’s game. Bring on season 2.
The big draw here is the extended season finale that is fun but isn’t entire worthwhile. The better extras are the featurette’s that look at the cast, which are very fun. There is also a very entertaining shirtless montage that pokes fun at itself.